Coming in at over 200 pages, today’s National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, 'Gene Drives on the Horizon’ is weighty but disappointing. It fails to properly address three of the most pressing issues raised by the controversial new technology of CRISPR-CAS9 gene drives. Dubbed, the ‘mutagenic chain reaction’ by its inventors, RNA-guided gene drives are a high-leverage synthetic biology technology invented only last year.
Biodiversity & Cultural Diversity
Biological diversity refers to all living organisms, their genetic material and the ecosystems of which they are a part. It is usually described at three levels: genetic, species, and ecosystem. Biological diversity is the cornerstone of sustainable agriculture and world food security. The loss of cultural diversity (including languages) and traditional knowledge -- of farm communities and indigenous cultures -- is intricately linked to the loss of biological diversity. Indigenous peoples and farming communities are the creators, custodians and continuing innovators of biological knowledge and resources. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (often referred to as the CBD or Biodiversity Convention) is a legally-binding framework for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.